FORT SMITH, Ark. — The Future School of Fort Smith broke ground on its campus Thursday (Aug. 13) for an expansion project that will lead to the school offering 9th grade classes.
“We’re adding 18,000 square feet, 16 classrooms, just enough to get us to 400 kids in 9th-12th grade,” Trisha Flanagan said.
Flanagan helped co-found the school five years ago and says to break ground was reassuring.
“When the right idea needs to happen and evolve and progress it’s going to happen and have the resources and support it needs and that’s what happened today,” Flanagan said.
Superintendent Boyd Logan says he's especially excited to bring 9th graders into the school. He says they have been planning for almost a year and to see it come to life he realizes the impact the expansion will have.
“We have a very specific model that involves students being off-campus at internships," Logan said. "It involves just a lot of nontraditional things and so a lot of times when students come over they may take a little time to get acclimated so by starting in 9th grade we will be able to have more time with those students in our model and we feel like we’ll be able to make even more progress with them as they’re with us for four years instead of three,” Logan said.
Jasper Spiotto is a senior and the student body President. She says before she came to the Future School, she struggled with anxiety and enjoying school. But now she says she's her best self and is excited for kids to have the same experience even earlier than she did.
She says in the middle of a global pandemic it was even more encouraging to be a part of the groundbreaking.
“Being able to do the groundbreaking and still expand and help more students definitely made me feel a lot better about this because at the end of this when it is over we are going to be able to bring in more students and help them just as much as they helped me,” Spiotto said.
9th graders can join the school as early as the 2021-2022 school year.